The Les Paul guitar models managed by Gibson gave to Gretsch the idea to offer Atkins to use his name. Gretsch has the same objectives as its competitor: improve the sound, remove the feedback, prepare mass production.
The first Gretsch 6120 model using the name of Chet Atkins is still a hollow guitar. An improvement is made with the sealed top 6120, an intermediate model toward the solid body 6121.
Two sealed top prototypes are made by Gretsch for the use of Atkins. The first one, heavy and unwieldy, is not suitable. The second, executed in 1956, solves this anomaly while remaining very thick but it pleases the virtuoso who will frequently use it until the end of the decade.
This second sealed top prototype nicknamed Dark Eyes is black to better establish the comparison with the Black Beauty of Gibson and Les Paul. The two instruments, both coming from the collection of the luthier Tom Doyle, are for sale by Guernsey's in New York on 19 February. Dark Eyes is lot 16 in the catalog of the bidding platform LiveAuctioneers.
I invite you to play the video shared in 2013 by Tom Doyle on YouTube to tell the importance of Dark Eyes in the history of the guitar.